Have you ever thought about what the definition of “hard work” is? Or what it truly means to be a “hard worker”? I think if you were to ask most people if they consider themselves to be a “hard worker” the answer would be “yes”. We are taught and made to believe that many great things can be accomplished just through hard work. Although this is true for the most part, it leaves the unanswered question of why aren’t more people successful? If we all consider ourselves to be hard workers, then why don’t we achieve all of our goals all the time? There can be lots of factors that influence this, but perhaps one of them is that we don’t work as hard as we think.
Let’s first define what a “hard worker” is. In my definition, a hard worker is someone who can consistently put in both time and effort into a task, job or goal. The characteristics of hard work, time and effort, must be present at all times, along with being consistent. Without these, hard work is just limited to the task at hand. Let’s play a game. Are you a hard worker if…
– if you go to the gym 7 days a week, but go through the motions?
– If your work day is only 2 hours long, but you accomplish a lot inside of those 2 hours?
– If you constantly take off time from the gym to do other things?
The answer to all of these scenarios are NO! All of these scenarios may contain 1 or 2 of the main characteristics that define what a hard worker is, but not all 3. In scenario #1, the time was put in, but what about the effort? In scenario #2, the effort was put in, but working 2 hours a day doesn’t cut it no matter the productivity. Scenario #3, simply lacks consistency. You can isolate hard work to specific tasks or jobs, but you are not a hard worker if it is not part of your everyday life. Working hard is different than being a hard worker. They are actually not interchangeable (at least in my perspective!) What I am trying to say is, you can work hard on something without being a hard worker. I think this is a common trap a lot of us fall into.
Just remember that being at the gym for 3 hours a day doesn’t make you a hard worker. Not putting in your best effort during the WODs does not give you merit to do extra work. We sometimes sacrifice quality for quantity because we are wired to think “more is better”. So next time when we think about how to get that next PR, how to lose the next 10lbs, or how to get that next job promotion, just remember the three characteristics of being a hard worker. Don’t just work hard for the given task, job or goal. Put in the time, effort and consistency to everything in your path. Make being a hard worker a part of the person you are (or want to be) and you will undoubtedly achieve great results and success both in and out of the gym!